Iran thrash Japan in AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup final
Bangkok, March 27
Iran thrashed three-time former champions Japan 6-0 in the 2023 AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup final in Thailand's Pattaya.
Iran scored a spectacular opener when Movahed Mohammadpour collected a long pass from keeper Seyedmahdi Mirjajili before firing home in the fourth minute, reports Xinhua.
Japan suffered another setback in the eighth minute as Mirjajili scored again, this time from Ali Mirshekari's assist.
Japan had no answer to Iran when they conceded again in the 20th minute after Movahed diverted Mirjajili's throw to an unmarked Moslem Mesigar, who slammed the ball home.
In the 29th minute, Japan goalkeeper Shinya Shibamoto was dispossessed in his own area by Mohammadali Mokhtari, who tapped home the fourth into an empty goal.
Iran extended their lead in the 35th minute thanks to an own goal by Kosuke Matsuda, before Mirshekari netted the final goal with seconds remaining.
"I'm so happy. This is the result of our hard work over the past year. I should thank all the players for playing so well in this tournament," said Iran head coach Ali Naderi Hosseinabadi after the match.
Iran had finished unbeaten to top Group B before hammering Bahrain 11-0 in the quarterfinals and beating Oman 6-3 in the semifinals.
In the third-place playoff, Oman defeated the United Arab Emirates, joining Iran and Japan to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai this November.